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My sister stole $30k from my mom - now what?

 
icehorse
 
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icehorse
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15 April 2018 17:41
 

Argh! My Mom is temporarily away from her home, and during a recent visit my sister (long time addict, not in recovery), stole something like $30,000 worth of antiques from my Mom. My sister is unrepentant. She doesn’t deny that she took the stuff, her claim is that she needed the cash. There is the idea of “restorative justice”, but my Mom’s lawyer advised us against going that route (something to do with that route not allowing for a subsequent criminal charge to be made?).

So the question is, should my Mom press charges?

 
 
burt
 
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burt
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15 April 2018 17:50
 
icehorse - 15 April 2018 05:41 PM

Argh! My Mom is temporarily away from her home, and during a recent visit my sister (long time addict, not in recovery), stole something like $30,000 worth of antiques from my Mom. My sister is unrepentant. She doesn’t deny that she took the stuff, her claim is that she needed the cash. There is the idea of “restorative justice”, but my Mom’s lawyer advised us against going that route (something to do with that route not allowing for a subsequent criminal charge to be made?).

So the question is, should my Mom press charges?

Depends on how much she values what was taken. If not precious heirlooms, she could just change her will to reflect this, and guard against a repeat performance.

 
icehorse
 
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icehorse
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15 April 2018 17:58
 
burt - 15 April 2018 05:50 PM
icehorse - 15 April 2018 05:41 PM

Argh! My Mom is temporarily away from her home, and during a recent visit my sister (long time addict, not in recovery), stole something like $30,000 worth of antiques from my Mom. My sister is unrepentant. She doesn’t deny that she took the stuff, her claim is that she needed the cash. There is the idea of “restorative justice”, but my Mom’s lawyer advised us against going that route (something to do with that route not allowing for a subsequent criminal charge to be made?).

So the question is, should my Mom press charges?

Depends on how much she values what was taken. If not precious heirlooms, she could just change her will to reflect this, and guard against a repeat performance.

My Mom’s antiques are basically her retirement plan - she sells some when she’s running low on cash. So this put a huge “ding” in her life savings.

 
 
nonverbal
 
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nonverbal
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15 April 2018 18:07
 
icehorse - 15 April 2018 05:41 PM

Argh! My Mom is temporarily away from her home, and during a recent visit my sister (long time addict, not in recovery), stole something like $30,000 worth of antiques from my Mom. My sister is unrepentant. She doesn’t deny that she took the stuff, her claim is that she needed the cash. There is the idea of “restorative justice”, but my Mom’s lawyer advised us against going that route (something to do with that route not allowing for a subsequent criminal charge to be made?).

So the question is, should my Mom press charges?

Does your sister have healthy organs?

 
 
icehorse
 
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icehorse
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15 April 2018 18:30
 
nonverbal - 15 April 2018 06:07 PM
icehorse - 15 April 2018 05:41 PM

Argh! My Mom is temporarily away from her home, and during a recent visit my sister (long time addict, not in recovery), stole something like $30,000 worth of antiques from my Mom. My sister is unrepentant. She doesn’t deny that she took the stuff, her claim is that she needed the cash. There is the idea of “restorative justice”, but my Mom’s lawyer advised us against going that route (something to do with that route not allowing for a subsequent criminal charge to be made?).

So the question is, should my Mom press charges?

Does your sister have healthy organs?

Several ways you could be going with that… hmmm..

well, 30+ years of alcohol abuse, probably those organs aren’t prize winners.

 
 
Celal
 
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Celal
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15 April 2018 19:07
 
icehorse - 15 April 2018 05:41 PM

So the question is, should my Mom press charges?

No.

Your sister thought she needed the money. She cared more about herself than she did about your mom. Whatever the cause is for her to be the way she is, she revealed something about ourselves. That is we care more about us than we do about others.  Most of us cover it up. She cant because she is an addict and vulnerable.  I say let her be. The family will not feel any better going after someone like that. And you cant save her from herself. 

Life lessons!  Sorry about your mom and how she must feel!

PS Change the door locks and set one less plate at the Thanksgiving table

[ Edited: 15 April 2018 19:22 by Celal]
 
nonverbal
 
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nonverbal
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15 April 2018 19:11
 
icehorse - 15 April 2018 06:30 PM
nonverbal - 15 April 2018 06:07 PM
icehorse - 15 April 2018 05:41 PM

Argh! My Mom is temporarily away from her home, and during a recent visit my sister (long time addict, not in recovery), stole something like $30,000 worth of antiques from my Mom. My sister is unrepentant. She doesn’t deny that she took the stuff, her claim is that she needed the cash. There is the idea of “restorative justice”, but my Mom’s lawyer advised us against going that route (something to do with that route not allowing for a subsequent criminal charge to be made?).

So the question is, should my Mom press charges?

Does your sister have healthy organs?

Several ways you could be going with that… hmmm..

well, 30+ years of alcohol abuse, probably those organs aren’t prize winners.

Sorry, icehorse—I wasn’t being serious.

 
 
NL.
 
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NL.
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15 April 2018 20:58
 
icehorse - 15 April 2018 05:41 PM

Argh! My Mom is temporarily away from her home, and during a recent visit my sister (long time addict, not in recovery), stole something like $30,000 worth of antiques from my Mom. My sister is unrepentant. She doesn’t deny that she took the stuff, her claim is that she needed the cash. There is the idea of “restorative justice”, but my Mom’s lawyer advised us against going that route (something to do with that route not allowing for a subsequent criminal charge to be made?).

So the question is, should my Mom press charges?


Regarding what will help your sister specifically - I think there is so much context there that it’s impossible to answer on a message board. Some people need tough love, some need a lot of support, some need time, some are beyond help within the foreseeable future, and on and on. So I feel there’s no way to answer that one.


Regarding what will help your mom - if she has any insurance, I’d say find out if filing charges is a necessary step in making an insurance claim. Also, if you know where your sister pawned the items (if that’s what she did), pawn shops are required to ask for and record ID for this very reason, so you may be able to get some of them back. If she sold them through another venue, you could see if you can deal with that company directly to get the items back.

 
 
brazen4
 
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brazen4
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15 April 2018 21:11
 

Have as accurate a list (detailed descriptions) as possible. Let all pawn shops in a 50 mile radius keep a copy of the list with the instruction to get as much info on anyone trying to move any of it. Pawn shops don’t want to get closed down or lose money on stolen goods. Same for any sort of 2nd hand shop or antique shop. It can be worth the effort as much of a long shot as it seems. I’d be looking at any of her “friends” and getting word out if possible that you REALLY want the stuff back no questions asked. Don’t get all surly, you know, just a concerned family member.

 
Brick Bungalow
 
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Brick Bungalow
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15 April 2018 23:38
 

All I can say is that I can definitely empathize with having family whose substance abuse issues ruin the party for everyone. I’m sorry. If this is a pattern of behavior I probably would press charges. Otherwise it’s almost definitely enabling further crimes. I know many addicts who have gotten away with such antics and it nearly always escalates.

 
icehorse
 
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icehorse
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16 April 2018 07:39
 
Brick Bungalow - 15 April 2018 11:38 PM

All I can say is that I can definitely empathize with having family whose substance abuse issues ruin the party for everyone. I’m sorry. If this is a pattern of behavior I probably would press charges. Otherwise it’s almost definitely enabling further crimes. I know many addicts who have gotten away with such antics and it nearly always escalates.

Brick, your take is closest to my current thinking. And to be fair you had to do a little reading between the lines. I wasn’t sure how much detail to give in the OP, but here are some more facts:

- I cut ties with my sister about 20 years ago because of her addiction and her abusive behaviors
- For the last 20 years I’ve been warning my parents that they’ve been enabling her
- I would say that there has been a pattern of theft, but this last episode is a HUGE escalation

 
 
Chaz
 
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Chaz
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16 April 2018 09:37
 

Follow the lawyer’s advice. It’s not easy to do for most but you and your mom need to understand you’re not dealing with your sister you’re dealing with an addict, and the lawyer should be able to help with your best interest in mind as a neutral party.

 
Jefe
 
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Jefe
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16 April 2018 10:42
 
Brick Bungalow - 15 April 2018 11:38 PM

All I can say is that I can definitely empathize with having family whose substance abuse issues ruin the party for everyone. I’m sorry. If this is a pattern of behavior I probably would press charges. Otherwise it’s almost definitely enabling further crimes. I know many addicts who have gotten away with such antics and it nearly always escalates.

Additionally, by pressing charges, the court may order rehabilitation treatments that could trigger a change.
Sorry for your parent’s problems.

 
 
nonverbal
 
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nonverbal
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16 April 2018 12:26
 
icehorse - 16 April 2018 07:39 AM
Brick Bungalow - 15 April 2018 11:38 PM

All I can say is that I can definitely empathize with having family whose substance abuse issues ruin the party for everyone. I’m sorry. If this is a pattern of behavior I probably would press charges. Otherwise it’s almost definitely enabling further crimes. I know many addicts who have gotten away with such antics and it nearly always escalates.

Brick, your take is closest to my current thinking. And to be fair you had to do a little reading between the lines. I wasn’t sure how much detail to give in the OP, but here are some more facts:

- I cut ties with my sister about 20 years ago because of her addiction and her abusive behaviors
- For the last 20 years I’ve been warning my parents that they’ve been enabling her
- I would say that there has been a pattern of theft, but this last episode is a HUGE escalation

Just out of curiosity—regarding what I boldfaced above—is she a psychopath? My family has one—fortunately for me, not my sibling.

 
 
icehorse
 
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icehorse
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16 April 2018 13:11
 
nonverbal - 16 April 2018 12:26 PM
icehorse - 16 April 2018 07:39 AM
Brick Bungalow - 15 April 2018 11:38 PM

All I can say is that I can definitely empathize with having family whose substance abuse issues ruin the party for everyone. I’m sorry. If this is a pattern of behavior I probably would press charges. Otherwise it’s almost definitely enabling further crimes. I know many addicts who have gotten away with such antics and it nearly always escalates.

Brick, your take is closest to my current thinking. And to be fair you had to do a little reading between the lines. I wasn’t sure how much detail to give in the OP, but here are some more facts:

- I cut ties with my sister about 20 years ago because of her addiction and her abusive behaviors
- For the last 20 years I’ve been warning my parents that they’ve been enabling her
- I would say that there has been a pattern of theft, but this last episode is a HUGE escalation

Just out of curiosity—regarding what I boldfaced above—is she a psychopath? My family has one—fortunately for me, not my sibling.

She might be (a psychopath). I’ve known several addicts in my life and they seem to have largely the same playbook: she / they are very manipulative, they lie frequently and convincingly, they present themselves as perpetual victims, they frequently and preemptively accuse others of what they’re guilty of, they feel entitled to other people’s stuff.

I’ve always thought that these behaviors were the result of needing to “feed the addiction” (at any cost), but perhaps psychopathy is often in play as well?

 
 
nonverbal
 
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nonverbal
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16 April 2018 20:25
 
icehorse - 16 April 2018 01:11 PM

She might be (a psychopath). I’ve known several addicts in my life and they seem to have largely the same playbook: she / they are very manipulative, they lie frequently and convincingly, they present themselves as perpetual victims, they frequently and preemptively accuse others of what they’re guilty of, they feel entitled to other people’s stuff.

I’ve always thought that these behaviors were the result of needing to “feed the addiction” (at any cost), but perhaps psychopathy is often in play as well?

Seems like one of those chicken-egg kinds of things. People like that can have a way of tearing families apart, so I hope the best for yours.

 
 
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